Here’s what the FSB had to say
The Federation of Small Businesses London Region is today calling on the major landowners that control huge swathes of London to ‘think small first’ as many are faced with swingeing rent increases and today’s business rates revaluation. The average small business (with commercial premises) is paying a fifth of their turnover on rents and business rates.
FSB data shows that the average micro business is facing a business rates bill of around £17,000 as of the 1st April and FSB is calling on landowners, particularly in Central London, to use their moral compass to find innovative ways through rent reviews and lease agreements to reduce the burdens on businesses and maintain the stock of independent businesses that are shrinking in the capital.
With the majority of the £300million Business Rates Discretionary Fund, announced in the Budget, being assigned to London councils, the FSB is calling for a quick and smooth rollout of the funds to struggling small businesses in London.
The Government should create an increased inner and outer London Small business rate relief (SBRR) threshold that reflects the specific problems faced by small businesses in the capital. In inner London, we are calling for the threshold should be £20,000 RV for 100 per cent relief tapering to £23,000. In outer London where rateable values have increased by a lower percentage, we believe the threshold for 100 per cent relief should be set at £15,000 tapering to £18,000.
Sue Terpilowski OBE, London Policy Chair, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“We estimate that a third of all business space in the capital should be apportioned to micro businesses, firms with fewer than 10 staff, when the new London Plan is announced. However, the cost of doing business is making it harder for smaller firms to afford the right workspace.
“We urge the landlords, authorities, estate management companies, property investment companies who own the majority of commercial space in the Capital to stand up and be counted and incentivise small firms to remain, or take up space, in London. We urge them all to think beyond the ‘Fiduciary Duty’ they have to Shareholders and give greater recognition to the importance of independent businesses to our local communities and not simply creating ‘Chains of Chain stores’.